Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slowly Getting the Legs Back

5 miles - "stomach training" I felt just a little beat up from the weekend...quite literally. I bruised my ass cheek, smacked my(already cracked) kneecap on a rock, and strained some muscles in my shoulder while playing in the trails over the weekend. I'd take the bruises more seriously, but that's kind of what I get for pretending to be a spider monkey while jumping and climbing on rocks.
Just took the legs out for a nice easy run. The weather was perfect, there was a tiny bit of rain coming down while the sun was still shining, and I was trotting down the street en route to a burrito. "stomach training" is a term I use for a lazy, lackadaisical run to food. Had a veggie burrito and a beer at qdoba and ran home. Checked out the theatre's listings to see what bands were playing soon, though I'm not sure why I bothered. I don't know any local music; I'm simply not that hip.

9 miles- Well, as far as time spent outdoors and enjoying some perfect weather, this run was a great success! As far as a training goes, it was an abysmal failure. I had a couple sore spots on my feet, so I opted for the protection of the MT101 shoes. One thing that I had forgotten is that I freaking hate those shoes. During the run, all I could think about was how uncomfortable my feet were. Friction spots everywhere, most notably the heel and 5th toe. I'm perplexed. How could I hate a shoe that was designed by a guy somewhat similar to me? Krupicka runs ultras(way faster), doesn't wear socks, trains barefoot, runs with hardly any clothes/gear, and runs every day up the very mountain I'm standing on. Oh well. As someone once said, "listen to everyone, follow no one." Maybe the shoe would work if I doubled(shit, tripled) my mileage. I took the Saddle rock trail up, which made for quite a bit of "hands on knees" climbing with its big steps and large rocks. Fun, but slow going. This trail also has some incredible views.
Sam came with me on this run, but she hiked the shorter route to the top. On my way back down, I saw her and we went back up to the summit together. On the way down I would run the trail to an intersection, then backtrack up to Sam who was hiking. Never really got into a good stride, but still covered the miles and got up the the 8100' summit. It's the best part about running up a mountain. On a bad day, you still ran up a mountain.

Luckily half of Boulder was perched atop Green Mountain, so someone got a photo of us.

The view of Boulder from the Summit.

 Earlier in the day, Sam and I checked out the Celestial Tea and Herb Company. It was a cool experience, even though I'm more of a Mountain Dew kind of fellow.

I tried not to laugh every time someone said "tea bag," but to no avail.
10 miles - ...I think it was 10 miles. Anyway, took a longer route up Long Canyon to West ridge trail to get to the Summit of Green. Down Bear Canyon to the Mesa trail to get home. Had fun trying to keep running. Since I haven't really found many training partners, I've teamed up with my own ego and tried not to let anyone see me walk. I know, sad. I made good time, but brought only shorts, inov-8 195s and a hat. No water. no GU, no watch. Fantastic run. Saw quite a few all- female running groups on the trail today. Speed has no gender bias; had to work my ass off not to get passed.
Now, off to work.

AM -6 mile well, noon I guess. I left from work at East Boulder Rec Center to run the South Boulder Creek Path. It ended up being a bit of a speed workout, though I had no intention for it to be. 2x3 mile with a stop at the creek to get my head wet in the middle. 6:30ish pace on the way out, 6:10ish on the way back, dipping into the 5:45 range for  most of the 2nd mile. Running on the loose gravel with less traction reminded me not to push off with my toes so much because it didn't do any good anyway. Jogged the last half mile too cool down, then went back to work. I think that for a race like Leadville, overall leg speed won't help immensely, but raising my tolerance to discomfort will be key. My body seems capable of more than my mind, so I'm working on toughening up. For a solo effort, this felt about par with when I was in good shape back home.

Was going to double, but I'm exhausted. I tend to forget that teaching 2-3 exercise classes can wear a lowly ultrajogger out. Went out to dinner with Sam and called it a day.

13 miles - Didn't really plan on a distance day, but that's the beauty of getting lost. Amphitheater trail loop to the Gregory Canyon Trailhead. Took that up to Ranger. Bear Canyon down. The Mesa trail is a bit boring, so I tried to find another way home. Should have stuck on the Mesa trail. Dropped into some boring suburb area and ran roads back to Chatauqua. All I had to eat today was an orange, a bowl of Honey Smacks(it used to be Sugar Smacks. Don't get me started), and a burrito from Taco Bell, so I guess I'll give my self some slack on the crappy pace. 89degrees when I started, but I felt pretty cool with my bandanna full of ice cubes.

In the morning, I had a slightly different workout. 6 hours in the sun on the Reservoir. I worked at a Tubing program for folks with disabilities. Easily one of the best times I've ever had. Other volunteers donate their time, equipment, and fuel to pull these people around the lake and give them a good time. Trying to be a good sport and show the participants that its "not so scary," I let one of the boat drivers actively try to pitch me off the tube as fast as he could get the boat moving. One other volunteer and I held on for the whole ride and have the sore bodies to prove it. Every time I think I have a good enough base tan to keep a sunburn away, I go to bed with that crusty skin feeling.

Days like this really make me question my running chops. Zero motivation. It's 90 degrees here in Boulder. If I want to improve, I need to stop being a wuss and just do what I need to do. I'm growing tired of low mileage weeks as summer roars through the calendar and my excuses become increasingly lame. How am I going to run a 50 mile mountain race on 50-60 miles a week? I sit here killing both time and a BoulderBeer Singletrack, waiting for the air to cool off just a little.

14 miles - Okay, that wasn't so bad. I pretty cool route presented itself. I wanted a 14 miler, and it happens to be 6.5 miles from my house to the Bald Mountain Scenic Area. An all uphill road run there, a trail loop to the summit, and a run back down. I raced the sunset to the summit, making it there just in time to sit on a log alone and watch the sun go down. For a road run, this was exceptionally awesome. At 7 miles, it was my longest continuous climb so far. It felt great, with the exception of the really steep sections(cars were downshifting into first gear to get around me). This gives me the confidence to attempt a run to Chatauqua and do the longer loop, making it around 19.

5 miles - Started off as an easy run with Sam, then got worse as the activities of the day caught up with me. A day out in the 90 degree sun, a tour of the Coors Brewery with loads of free samples(Sam doesn't drink...DOUBLE SAMPLES!!!) Legs and body felt great, other than the ole digestive tract, which had other plans. As I sat there wondering why I thought it a good idea to buy tamales out of a pickup truck, I remembered the news story about the guy who was found hiding in a porta john. Relevance? None really, just thought I'd share a disturbing story.

Waiting outside for out tour bus

Can't really go anywhere around here without seeing something beautiful.

This, my friends, is a good hydration belt.
 Total: 62 miles. It's steadily creeping up, as is my desire to do more. The way I see it, I have two weeks to get quality running in before Leadville, Then it's taper time. With a little willpower and luck, I'll put together a couple weeks of high mileage before taking it easy and hoping for the best. As I get more notches in my racing belt, I get less afraid when my mileage doesn't seem adequate. I was in a "base building" phase for over a year, running every chance I had. Now I can sharpen and learn the skills necessary for each particular race. And there you have it- my excuse for being a slacker. Come Hell or high water, I'll put up some decent numbers before Leadville. Can't have these mountain folk thinking Michigan can't hang.

Speaking of Michigan folk in mountain ultras, My close friend and training companion Jason Robillard finished the Western States Endurance Run this weekend. His previous 100mile PR, with yours truly as a pacer, was 27 hours and some change. He completed WS in 23 hours and 39 minutes, earning him the coveted Silver Buckle. 100miles. 1 day. Well done, Jason.

Another Great week here in Colorado.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What was that?

My brain turned on today.

I was working in my yard alone on my lawn mower, a simple task of replacing a rotten fuel line. The smell of the gasoline made me feel reconnected with my past, my father, and my curiosity. I tore the carburetor apart, cleaned it, and put it back together just to see if I remembered how. Just as I got it running, it began to rain. I sat on my porch and watched the lightning as I sipped on a beer. I began reading a book about the unconscious and its greatly underestimated importance in human happiness and interaction. I accounted for an entire week of running, including how I felt and the mileage of each day, in about 25 minutes. I feverishly wrote a note to Sam, telling her how much I loved her so she'd be able to read it when she got home.

The rain let up. The moment was gone. Time for dinner.Until we meet again, subconscious.

Seriously trying to have fun

9 miles - 9 hour work day. Damn. Headed to Chatauqua and parked on Baseline road immediately after work and a trip to the vending machine. Fueled by Lornadoone cookies and licorice, I did my first continuous climb of Green Mountain from Gregory Canyon. With the exception of stopping to pee, I made it up in just over 45 minutes. 14+minute miles is pretty sad, I'll be the first to admit, but the run was a breakthrough. Instead of scrambling up and expending every drop of energy I had in sporadic bursts, I actually managed to float up the mountain relatively consistently. Letting go of speed is hard, but I have to if I want to learn how to actually climb for sustained periods. The run went beautifully. Rather my typical descent of Gregory Canyon(I say typical as if I've been here more than 3 weeks), I went down Bear Canyon and took the Mesa trail back. This trail is my new favorite. It also added almost 2 miles to my usual route and had some great scenery.

non running- taught kickboxing and water aerobics! Call me Richard Simmons. Also several hours of desk jockeying.

Mentally draining day, 0 miles. No sleep the night before. Awoke every few minutes with really strange pain in my head and eyes. Not sure what's up with that. Paralympic water ski training at 6:30am, then work until 5. Gotta know when to fold 'em. I've been beaten down by the day yet again. This blog has turned from a training log into a daily bitch session. As far as my own intentions go, it's nice to record how I feel from day to day and it helps me psychologically to see what I'm thinking after some reflection. From a "write something entertaining" standpoint, this isn't exactly great reading. More posts on relevant things coming up.

Showed Jason and Shelly Robillard my favorite restaurant/brewery downtown, so I can't say I'm too upset about missing a run. Mountain Sun has some tasty beer and good bean and rice burritos.

AM- 5 miles - easy run on the Boulder Creek Path that ended up being fairly quick. I suppose the possibility of being late for work will do that.  Pretty flat route, but the pace was around 7 minutes/mile. I never have much to say after runs like this. I work up a sweat then go home.

Another day off due to lack of time. Worked all day, then drove down to Morrison to meet with Rick and Scott, organizers of the Naked Foot 5k. Jason and Shelly are in town and took Sam and I along to meet up with the guys. Cool fellows putting on a sweet event here in Boulder. Merrell is pretty impressive with their involvement with the minimalist running ideology across the nation.

AM-9 miles- took Jason up Green and down Bear Canyon to show him my favorite route in the park. It felt weird to be the one who knows where to go. I still feel like this place is so new to me. can't believe its been a month. All of my runs since my arrival here have been solo. The company of another runner is something I had forgotten the value of. We made it to the summit pretty quickly and I felt better during that run than any other so far. I was glad to share the trail with someone.

PM-6 miles- Played trail guide with Jason and Shelly on the Flagstaff and Gregory Canyon trails. We did some climbing on the rocks, some view taking, and some running. Their ability to adapt to altitude is making me feel pretty weak. Feels like I'm still not used to it, but they're doing great after a couple days.

Saturday "Dry Run"
AM - 4 miles- Nakedfoot 5k - 17:40something or something. Planned on just visiting new and old friends at Merrell, helping out, and enjoying the cool atmosphere. Jon offered me pair of unreleased kicks to test out, so I obliged and ran the race in them. Half assed warmup that consisted of me running to the Juan, then raced the 5k. Placed 4th overall(makes handjob gesture*) to a badass barefoot dude in a kilt(not Jason) and a couple high school kids. Enjoyed hanging out with Jason, Shelly, John, Ken Bob Saxton(and pooch Herman), Rob Sanchez, and Scott. Really sweet event at Foothills Park here in Boulder. Swag aplenty and some speedwork.

Only picture I found of me from the Nakedfoot. Can't explain the facial expression or donning of Merrell Buff.

PM - Boulder Reservoir Father's Day 4.5k - 17:xx again - Great Course and some fun times. Samantha and I volunteered at the event and had fun registering runners and paddle boarders for the events. Again, more swag! Great food good folks all around. Free White Rascal Beer(my personal favorite) and Hawaiian BBQ. Absolutely no warm up as I was signing up other runners until 4:55(race started at 5). Really windy on the open plains, but a fun course with very little elevation change, only slight uphill and downhill and no real flat parts. It was almost ideal. The wind slowed us down, making the times more akin to 5k times for most. The atmosphere was a bit more competitive(prize money involved), but nothing some beers can't fix. Possibly a top 10 finish, but I don't know or care. Almost got "chicked." EDIT: looks like 12th place. What an ass clown.

Running Guru lets you download the pics from the race for free! cool!
hobbjogged my way to 12th place among(or should I say behind) a pretty tough looking field.
Only one who ran in the leis they were handing out.

PM 2 - Did 4 with Sam on the Boulder Creek Path. She's been my sole support system since our move to Boulder. The least I could do was drag my lazy ass out and have a nice run with her to get her workout in. Enjoyed the path and watched the sun go down. Time to go have some libations.**

AM- 7 miles. Took Jason and Shelly up the mountain again before they left town. Not a lot of continuous running, but some shooting for Jason's Blog on the Merrell site. The standard route up Gregory. Being in a place where a mountain run is in such close proximity is great.

PM- Mountain biking with Sam. 3 hour ride in the foot hills trails in South Boulder. Lots of scenic trails that traverse cattle fields, cross streams, and climb hills. Really rocky trails, but I think we did well for a couple newbies on low-end bikes. Sam's trusty Schwinn held up over the nasty stuff and my Marlin with a broken fork stayed solid. Note:Sam is a pretty damn good mountain biker, as I've found out. very cool.
Shall I run again? maybe if I get the lawn mowed and other homeowner shit.

48 miles? I'll take it. It was low volume, but pretty high quality stuff. It showed me that I can do back to back runs and that it's easier with people around. I learned quite a lot and had fun. This low mileage crap is pretty typical for me 80% of the year anyway.  This week, since it wasn't run completely solo, should have some pictures attached to it once I snag 'em from Jason's camera.

In other news:
I have gone on a "frantic search for motivation" spree. I have signed up for a rash of races for the purpose of helping me to get out and enjoy the trails that I'm so blessed to have in my backyard. I'm overly ambitious. Of this I'm well aware.
- I'm struggling with altitude and extended climbs. What is the first logical thing to do? How about sign up for a 50 mile mountain race at 10,000-12,000feet off the sea? After a few beers and some discussion with bad influences, I registered for the Leadville 50mile trail run. I have less than 1 month to train, but I'm determined to enjoy it. I've gone into every race in the past year with the intent to win or hit a time goal. A race such as this one will free me of such expectations and allow me to face off against the steep climbs, the thin air, and weakness that resides inside me. This will also serve as the ever so sorely needed long run before I leave Colorado. I'm capable, but still in search of a situations that calls for the effort. I'm forcing my lazy streak out of me.
- I lack any motivation to cross train. Despite my stereotypical "skinnyfat" distance runner's build, I can't seem to force myself into a gym. I know that a small amount of strength could do wonders for my trail running, especially if I maintain my (not so) high mileage. Exploring Boulder can be done not only by foot, but mountain bike and by climbing. While wandering around the booths at the Father's Day race, I came across Columbia's Muddy Buddy event tent. A 6 mile partner event with an obstacle every mile, mountain biking, and a mud pit at the end. Pretty damn sweet, if you ask me! Samantha, not usually one to want to pay money to enter events, was excited at the thought. We signed up immediately(saving a few dollars), and were immediately enthused at the idea of training together for such a crazy event. It's new for both of us, so it will be a great equalizer. Preparing for the event will also give us good reason to hit the trails and climbing areas together. We now have a "Muddy Buddy" shirt hanging on our wall as a reminder to run, bike, and do body weight/agility exercises. This kind of training feels different; we're free of any obligation. The more we train, the more fun we'll have at this race.

Life doesn't suck right now, but I do miss my Dad this Father's day weekend. Even among all the great male influences in my life, my Dad is by far my biggest inspiration to turn myself into a good man.

*"handjob gesture" - similar to eye rolling, a phrase meaning a facetious "whoopee" that I borrowed from fellow blogger P. Thanks Pat.

**libations - classy word used by barefooter and real boss Pat Sweeney for alcohol and all things mind altering and fun.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Monday -
PM -7 miles - Left from my place to the Mount Sanitas Park for a quick climb before dinner. Since the climb is shorter on the East Ridge trail, I was able to actually run most of it. No watch. It was beautiful.  According to my super timekeeping device(somewhat broken clock on the microwave), the loop took about an hour and 10.

later PM - 3 miles - took off after dinner down the goose creek path. All the climbing has made me forget what it feels like to kick up my heels and run with a smooth stride. Tossed on my Fivefingers for the first time in weeks and just tried to stay smooth. Nothing crazy or "balls out," just 3 easy at 6:50ish pace.
...this day was a good example of what I'd like to do most days of the week. My legs still feel solid afterward and it didn't really disrupt my day. Full day at work, dinner with Sam, 2 solid runs and some Family Guy...awesome.

Tuesday -
9 miles - Parked on Baseline road and took Gregory Canyon up to Green. Yet again, the run was disrupted by dehydration. Being distracted and neglectful with my water drinking all day has had negative consequences. The climb was particularly arduous today, but still enjoyable. I must be walking less up the mountain and running more, because I'm getting faster(barely). Ran 4ishmiles down Flagstaff road back to the car to work on turnover and downhill form. The flagstaff trail will most likely be incorporated into my long run this weekend. Overall a really enjoyable run, but I need to make sure I stay hydrated.

1.5 miles - Took the Goose Greenway to the grocery store to grab some garlic bread and Parmesan cheese for dinner. I couldn't figure out why I was getting funny looks as I went through the store. Didn't know why until it dawned on me that I was still jogging around the store. What an idiot.

- sadly, no running. Insomnia and some sort of allergen have rendered me exhausted. I left work a little late and never mustered up the motivation to go for a run. Biked a few miles with Sam around town. We took a tour of Boulder Creek and learned some of the history of the town. I then went to bed at 9:30 like an old man.

11 miles - an actual road run, first one in quite a while. Left from my place to the Boulder Creek Path, then up Canyon into the mountains a bit before turning around. Certainly an awesome road route to work on turnover and still get the beauty of the land here. Tentatively planning a road run up in the mountains to Nederland, 17 miles away and 3000 feet up. It would be fun to run there, eat at the brewhouse, then run home. It would make a nice 38ish miler and adventure.

7 miles- ran to Mount Sanitas from home, climbed the mountain, then ran down the ridge to the roads back home. Nice run overall, but my fatigued legs aren't liking the technical trails as much as the rest of my body enjoys the visceral excitement of bombing down rocky ridges.

Not running, but I rode hours with the wheelchair racers in the Paralympic Sport Program. Have I mentioned that I love my internship? Gently rolling hills of Longmont, with the mountains in the background watching over us. To ensure a workout, I used the most inefficient gear possible on my road bike. The athletes I'm working with are crazy fast, so they even put distance between me on a bike sometimes. The more I'm outside moving in the sunshine, the better I feel. I understand the allure of cycling in CO now, even if it pales in comparison to the trails. Another great day, topped off with a walk with Sam and some frozen yogurt(nowhere near as good as ice cream, but hey).

AM- 5 miles Longmont 10k....sort of. I was working the the Paralympic program, so I figured I might as well try to "tempo effort" a 10k for the first time since the RoadHawg in Battle Creek. 1.5 mile warmup, then the race started. It felt fast, but I'm out of shape, so everything feels fast. I tried hanging with the lead pack, but the 2-3 guys ahead of me surged after a mile. I was resigned to running my own 10k and staying solid...then we turned into the finish. I was running the damned 2 mile, not the 10k! A quick lap around the track, and I was done. Ended up getting second in my age group with a 11:40 or something. Barely even enough to be my 5k pace. I was disappointed to be done, but happy that my 10k pace was enough to place in a local 2 miler. Oh well. I'm glad this happened at a fun event and not a priority race.

PM- 7 miles - Rode my bike to the Gregory Canyon, then ran up the flagstaff trail. I was tired from waking up early so I perched myself on a rock and gazed out at the mountains for a little while. I watched one of these little lizards sun itself on a rock for a while, just observing and marveling at how still it was.

I had to google this picture, but this is the lizard I saw. Promise.

I was a little disappointed in myself for being tired after such a lackluster performance on Saturday morning, but I just chugged along up Flagstaff trail and ran the smooth sections, scrambled up the rocky ones. Once the trail ended, I ran Flagstaff Road to Long Canyon and took it down to Gregory Canyon to home again. It was a great run, but slow. I have to remember that I'm still new at this mountain running stuff. Baby steps. It will come.

AM - 4 miles - drove outside of town to some trails, but ended up on some ORV trails and ran with the Jeeps and dritbikes a little. Seeing the motorcycles on the trail reminded me of how I used to spend my summers, kicking up dust and flying around the woods in search for the perfect dirt hit to launch a 200lb bike into the air. I meandered off trail and snagged some shots while I was just bumming around and taking it all in. The run took forever, and I wasn't pushing it very hard. This was the first run this week that felt easy, so I'll go with it.
I could sit here all day, away from noise and distraction. Maybe a book next time.

Jesus, I look like Kevin Costner from Water World. Not good.

I won't ruin it with words.

5 - Hiked with Sam, climbed for an hour or so on the Open Space climbing areas, walked back. Most importantly, I had a Slurpee. Junk miles for the win.
Total: 60 miles, mostly quality. On the trail runs, I run until exhaustion, then walk or stop until I'm ready to give it another go. The only exception was Sunday, when I meandered around taking pictures and climbed rocks. In this "rebuilding phase," I'm falling back on the ultra training rhetoric that every single thing you do is ultra training. I'll start to get my mojo back when I can summit a couple local peaks without sucking wind. As I get more plugged into the social pipeline, I hope to find a group to do the occasional track workout.

I'm a bit surprised by how fragile my ego is. I just had one of the best performances of my life in New York prior to coming to Boulder. I've won over half of the ultras I've ever entered. I can still hold my own in a short road races.I ran my first mile 5 years ago, and shattered my kneecap 3 years ago. I say this not to brag, but to point out that in spite of all that, I still am reduced to a crawl when trying to explore mountain running. The trails here have kept a "flow state" of running just beyond my reach. There's only one thing to do, and that is to keep trying. If I keep trying, I can't fail. We're all works in progress.

...Nothing is static. We're all either building up or falling down.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Weekly exercise/adventure log: 5/30-6/5

As I slowly get into a pattern here in Boulder, I realize that some things have changed and other things haven't.
 a-I'm still not a morning person. As much as I want to get up before work and get a run or ride in, I just can't seem to make myself do it. I know I feel better when I do, but rather than getting up and getting moving, I lay in bed, angry at myself for each second I waste.
-I still don't sleep. I toss and turn all night, every night. Waking each hour to wonder why I can't rest a whole night through.
- I have excess endurance, but lack the power to continuously climb the mountains. The ability to run for 7-12 hours continuously is still there, but I require rest periods after only minutes of climbing. After a short rest, I'm able to climb again, repeating the process for 2 hours or more so far. I'll take it as a sign that the potential is there, as long as patience can accompany it.
- Solo runs are starting to feel more comfortable. After 2 years of always having a running partner(typically one that's faster than I), I'm learning to push my own pace without being dragged along. This is a positive, since I'm slow to find a group to run with.

Monday- 12+hour day at work. Volunteered at the paralympic race at the BolderBoulder 10k. In a sea of 50,000 runners, I got to help out the dozen or so athletes in the wheelchair division. I can say without a doubt that this is an event I'll remember forever. The group, just like any random sample of 10k competitors, has elites, recreational, and in between. Our group, the EXPAND program at Boulder, had a great showing. Our fastest male took 3rd overall(to collegiate racers- no shame it that whatsoever). One of our women took second in the female race, even after a crash. Another woman, a gold medal paralympic basketball player, had a great showing after being in a race chair for less than a month! Athletes take many forms, but the heart shows through every time.

My view of the finish following the wheelchair event. I got to watch
 50,000 people finish the race in the stadium
The man who stepped in my shot with his ice cream? Mr. Frank Shorter. No shit.

The rest of the day was spent at the Boulder Creek Festival, where I helped the EXPAND program with the Duck Race Fundraiser. By the time I rode my bike home, I was exhausted. Sam and I  rode our bikes to Chipotle because we were too lazy to cook.

Don't worry. I, along with my 2 fellow interns, have to account for all the ducks.

Tuesday - 1hr 40m - Finally got to the top of Green Mountain. Left from Chautauqua Park and made it to the summit in just under 50 minutes, then took a longer route down. The view was great and I held a chipmunk as I sat there a minute. Wish I had my camera. round trip, according the the Garmin, was 8 miles. Damn, that's weird to run a 45 minute 5k!

Wednesday -  2 hours - Slower ascent of Green when I got lost. The trail vanished on me (I'm not known for my directional sense). I ended up climbing rocks until I crossed the trail again, somehow jumping from the Greenman trail to the Ranger trail by way of scree covered rocks. I have to admit, it was a blast, but I don't want to damage the land any more than I do by simply running on it. Talked with a couple fellows at the top, then headed down to Gregory Canyon, then back to Chatauqua where I was parked. Another nice jog, but I'm starting to get the itch to run more miles. That means getting up early and going before work...oh shit. Finally starting to feel more comfortable climbing for sustained periods, but I have a long way to go before the threat of being passed by an old lady with trekking poles doesn't enter my mind.

Thursday - Oh Goodness. A double.
AM - 3 miles on the Goose Creek Greenway. I can see it from my bathroom window, no excuse not to run on it. a flat-ish, paved path. 1.5 miles out, then back. Just as with my pre-MTD taper, I've lost the ability to run slower. About 7:00-7:30 minute miles is where I feel comfortable, even when I'm sweating and working my ass off. Oh well, it seemed to yield good results, so I'll just do whatever is fun.

PM - 9 miles - Ran to Mount Sanitas with Sam biking alongside me. We found a different way in, a trail called Goat Path. 2 miles there, 5 of hiking/running, then 2 home. The run was particularly difficult since it was over 90 degrees here, but its much more bearable than 90 degrees in Michigan. Humidity is lower. I'm still a terrible mountain runner, but I'm learning as I go. I'm feeling stronger and my times are getting quicker as I climb the peaks. I expect a plateau effect to take place after a few weeks, but I'm walking less and running more now. Can't complain

7.5 miles - Gregory Canyon, then Long Canyon to Flagstaff road. Sat at the top of Green Mountain for a few minutes, looking at the mountains in the distance with snow on them. 1:40 minutes ish.
My feet as I sit in between two rocks, taking in the view.
Sorry for the crappy camera phone quality.

Saturday - For reasons unbeknownst to me, I'm exhausted. This may have been a mental exhaustion rather than physical from the day at the swim meet. The Special Olympics state swim meet was quite fun. Our small group had great performances made some memories. I love this program and am glad to be doing my internship here. After returning home, Sam and I went for a walk looked around a little, then rode our bikes downtown to walk the mall and grab some ice cream. One of those life-affirming days, proving to me that I don't need to run to feel normal person. Until I get better at managing my time and building my life around training in a way that doesn't harm my mind or my relationships, these days will be savored and made the best of.

Sunday - 3.5 hours - First attempt at a "long" run since my move. I drove to Chatauqua, where I went up Gregory Canyon, then taking the Ranger trail to the Summit of Green. I was wondering why there were so many cars in the parking lot. Every car at the bottom had its passengers sitting at the top. For every hiker, there were about 50 flies. I focus on the view for a few minutes, talked to some people, dropped my phone off a rock and smashed it, put it back together, then took off down Green Man. Once I got the the trail crossing, I realized I went the wrong way. It's my favorite trail to descend Green Mountain on, so I wasn't heartbroken. Back up the the summit, thinking of as many different courteous ways as I could to say, "Hello! Excuse me please, thank you!"
 I didn't stop this time, just went back down and descended down Green Bear to Bear Canyon, then up the ridge. Some ladies told me that it was a nice trek that would take me up to the top and be challenging. The route up there is an amazing, very runable trail until one gets close to the summit. I pressed on and joined a gaggle of hikers at the top for some bullshitting and view taking. Bagged my first Bear Summit. The view from Bear is phenomenal. The South side of Boulder is amazing, but turning around gives an even better view of the mountains. This view came at a bit of a cost.What I did to get up there doesn't quite fall into my loose definition of "running," at least not in this piss poor condition I find myself in currently. I'll keep at it to make this 12-13 mile loop a more regular, less difficult experience.
On a positive note, I did climb two mountains in one day. I learned that I'm going to have to at least be double fisting water bottles if I want to be more comfortable this summer. I ran out of water on my way down Green Mountain. I filled up in a creek and also dumped several bottles on my head. After crossing Bear Canyon Creek again, I casually asked some passers by if the water was safe to drink. They laughed and said, "It is if you want diarrhea!" I could feel my heartbeat in my eyes, so I was desperate. I was coming up on my 3rd hour in 90ish degree heat, so gastrointestinal parasites became the secondary concern. (kind of like the "Jenn and Billy" story in Born to Run...except I'm closer to matching drinking abilities than running abilities). It looked fine anyway, and besides, I filtered it through my fingers!
I saw the same ladies that directed me up Bear after I came through Fern Canyon. They were suprised that I made it up and back down in time to catch them, so I'll take that as a sign that I'm not the slug I perceived myself to be.
Bombing down the bluebell trail back the car wound out the day. I finally opened the stride up and hit a speedy mile(probably my first one that wasn't in the double digits all day). Stopped at the gas station and bought a big ass bottle of Gatorade and drained it in the store while the cashier rang me up. The creek water didn't tear my guts up, but the Gatorade sure did. that's what's goin on with me.
48 miles of "running" in about 10 hours. back in the day(3 weeks ago), I could run twice that many. gettin' lazy in my old age.